Monday, August 16, 2021

I Made a Weird Stencil...

I made a weird stencil. 

I love it, but I’m thinking you may be looking at it and going, ‘hmmmm?” whereas I look at it and lovingly go, “mmmmmmm!” 

Two very different reactions. 

Earlier this year my “Happy Hour” Collection of Stencils was released which is all about libations, cocktails, wine, etc. It included a stencil based on a downward photo into the glass of one of my husband’s (John) Manhattans

Manhattan with Two Cherries StencilGirl S856

John is a financial guy and is quite artful at that but his true calling comes out in the kitchen. He may not know periwinkle from sky-blue, but he is a fantastic cook and has also practiced, studied, and turned into an incredible mixologist (Yay me!). He has researched spirits, created his own bitters, and crafts beautiful cocktails for family and friends. One year I had a workshop that fell during the Kentucky Derby and he brought real Mint Juleps for everyone to enjoy as we all watched the final race! 

My weird stencil, Manhattan with Two Cherries S856, was a way to honor him and his art with my art. I so appreciate what he does and love his passion for it. Ok, maybe not as romantic as “The Notebook,” but you get the picture? 

However, it is an odd image, and I thought it would be a good idea to show you how I use it in my art, as well as what I intended when I designed it. I doubt I will ever create a journal page and plop down the stencil with the caption “Manhattan Dreams.” But I really do love the blips, blops, curved lines, row of dots, and great bit straight line to use in creating collage paper and backgrounds with interesting patterns. 

You’ve heard SO many times and watched a gazillion demos by now that you’ve been empowered to use just parts of a stencil to create something completely your own. We all love it when our work is admired and those looking at it are bemused and ask, “how did you do that?”

Here are some examples of how to use those “weird” stencils in your stash and create some beautiful pages. Luckily, I had a fresh stash of Gel Prints from Carolyn Dube’s workshop at Ephemera Paducah in July to use as my background pages. (My other idea for a column was “I have 250 Gel Prints; now what do I do?”)

Using the garnish pick I made some patterns that kind of look like bugs! I also like the one using half of the glass. 

This print on old dictionary paper turned into a really fun Washi Tape.

You would never know this one stencil could be the inspiration for so many shapes and patterns. 

I love the pink one! I just used the scribbles outside of the glass in black and white.

Creating patterns with parts of the stencil might be a way for you to use some of those stencils in your stash that you purchased on impulse but are challenged by when you pull them out from time to time. Take one of those "weird" ones for a spin and see how many different ways you can use it. 




  1. This is a fun exploration of one stencil - and a sweet tribute to your husband. Thanks for sharing :-)

  2. Thank you, Terry!! Happy Stenciling!


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